A Girl Named Leney

THE JOURNAL

The Answers To The Questions

Photo Credit: Meagan Abell

I did a little Q&A post a week or so ago and today I am posting the answers to your questions!
Thanks for participating, it was fun hearing from you guys :)


How long did it take to get the ball rolling on your etsy shop/getting regular sales? Do you have any advice for someone just starting a shop?
I started my Etsy shop about a year and a half ago but didn't really pursue it whole heartedly/full time until around this time last year. I in no way claim to be an expert on the subject. I myself am still in the process of building my shop and working on getting a more cohesive look and brand with my pieces! But I have been at it for a little while now, so these are a few tips from my experience that I've found helpful for me personally:


1. Take good photos of the things you're selling. These images really sell your items, since someone isn't able to touch and look at your wares in person, you have to give them a good representation! So even if you don't have a great camera, find a friend who does. Because these photos are what could make or break a sale!


2. Be patient but persistent. It takes a while to accumulate sales sometimes and it doesn't just happen over night. Work on creating a few things really well instead of a lot of things only half as well. Does that make sense? I guess what I'm trying to say basically is, quality over quantity! If you work hard and learn how to do a few things excellently you'll get a lot farther and people will take you more seriously than overwhelming them with a bunch of random things that you just whipped up in five minutes!


3. Start a blog! This isn't for everyone, but often times starting a blog, or even a Facbook page, really helps get the word out about your shop! And it also helps you network with other shop owners and artists.


4. Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle. It's super tempting to look at other successful shop owners, and get discouraged at your supposed lack of success (believe me, I've been there!). But you need to remember they've all started where you did! They've worked really hard to get to where they're at. If this is your dream and you have the motivation and drive, you can work hard and get there too in time! It just takes a little bit (or sometimes a lot) of a beginning to get there. :)


5. Check out the Etsy forums. Pretty much every question you could possibly ever have is answered there! It's a great community to look to for better tips and advice on how to start your shop and be great at it. 


What camera do you use? 
I use a Canon EOS Rebel T2i with a kit lens and 85mm 1.8 lens. I will be purchasing some more lenses this year for wedding season and I'm super excited!


What Photoshop do you use? I'm in the market for a good one!
I actually use Adobe Lightroom 3. I'm looking into getting photoshop soon though!

Do you have any tips for aspiring photographers? 

I would definitely recommend taking some classes of some sort if you haven't already! I learned so much from the ones I took in high school and again in college. It really helps to have someone show and teach you things in person. At least for me! I just am a visual/hands on learner. I don't do so great with manuals most of the time. Otherwise, practice, practice, practice! The more you shoot, the more you'll learn and the better you'll become. 

Additionally, don't fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other aspiring/professional photographers.
Similar to what I said about the Etsy shop, you shouldn't compare where you are now with where someone else, who's been at photography for several years, is. Again, I've been there! It's hard not to.
But everyone is different and has their own voice and view of how they portray what they see through a lens. Just because someone is different from you in how they shoot doesn't mean it's bad or wrong or better, it's just different! Work on your view of things and what you love shooting.

How do you pronounce your name?
I get this a lot.
To put it simply: LeeKnee. Or even, the way it sounds at the end of Tortellini. 
Hopefully that makes sense!


Why are we here? What's our purpose? I've been feeling so down lately, and you seem so happy. 
Just wondered if you could share. 
This is a pretty big question, one that I was debating whether or not to answer here because it can cause quite a lot of debate among people. But I decided a while ago that I would share my beliefs on here when situations called for it, so I will do so now.
I believe we are here because God created us, we are His children, and we were made to glorify Him. 
It's as simple as that. He's the one who gave me the talents and gifts that I have and so I work on using those to bring Him glory.
If you want to shoot me an emailI'd definitely be happy to discuss that more in depth with anyone who has more questions. :)


As for seeming so happy, I understand how you would get that portrayal from this blog.
I strive to focus on the good things in my life, and the blessings that I have, because there are so many that often go unseen and I want to be better about seeing them and being more thankful. However, I in no way am trying to portray that I have a perfect life, or that everything is great all the time. It's not! I definitely have my share of down moments as well.
Just because you don't read about them, doesn't mean they don't exist! But overall, I work on choosing joy and seeing the best in things and in situations, even when my current situations don't seem presently enjoyable. Because I believe there is always something to be thankful for and joyful about! I'm able to do this largely (if not wholly) because of my relationship with God. It's because of His infinite love that I'm able to choose joy and gratitude more often than not.

I know a lot of the blogs we read tend to focus primarily on the good things, and there's nothing wrong with that! But we have to remember that that's not the whole picture. Everyone has their messes and their disappointments and downfalls. Don't compare yourself to someone else and what you think their life is like. Instead focus on your own and all the good things you have going for you! Even when it might seem like there might not be anything going for you, look again, there's always something to be grateful for. :)
Again, if I can clarify anything or answer more in depth (although I feel like I just wrote a novel!) I'd be happy to if you want to shoot me an email.

How long have you been a Christian? What is your favorite book of the bible?
I grew up in a christian home and I got saved when I was a little girl. I've been a Christian ever since I can remember really, but my relationship with God didn't become a real and tangible thing for me until I was about 13. 
My favorite book of the bible is hard... I'd have to say right now it's Psalms. That may be cliche, but I love the poetry of the verses and how soothing and comforting they are. A lot of my favorite verses are in those chapters.


Are you ever planning to come to Indiana? 
At some point sure! I have a goal to visit all 50 states in my lifetime. So far I've been to 18 so I have a ways to go! (At least I think it's 18.... I need to verify that actually...)


What is your ultimate dream? Whether job, a place to travel, something important to do, something involving all of those, etc.

Gosh I could go on and on about all the dreams I have! I think to touch on each of those briefly, I'd have to say...

 -What I'm doing now is my dream job! Photography and my Etsy shop are my passions, and while they might change and evolve over time, I can't imagine doing anything better right now!
-I want to travel all over the world, but I think my top place currently is Ireland. I really really want to go to Ireland.
-Something important to do. This is a hard one but I definitely want to be better at glorifying God with my life and giving back to Him and others in ways I'm able to. I think that being a part of The Gray Haven Project and their mission defintiely plays a part in this but I know there are some other things I am meant to do as well. 


The end!
Thanks again guys for your comments and questions! I love hearing from you. :)